Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tony: King of the Garden Eels.

If there is anything that my friends and I hate the most, it is Garden Eels. We first saw them in the London Aquarium and have been disgusted by the mere thought of them ever since. So, when things go wrong--there is obviously only one culprit to blame--the Garden Eels.

This past week, the Garden Eels reigned supreme. We traveled up to the North and as beautiful as it all really was, I have had better weeks. A large part of it had to do with being on a coach with the entire faculty and their families, as well as all of the lovely girls here. Another part was having to deal with exhaustion and motion sickness. Another major factor was our bus driver: Tony. He enjoys speaking over the loud speaker while everyone is trying to sleep (and he KNOWS we're all trying to sleep but does it anyways) and he is EXTREMELY rude... especially to individuals like Emma and myself. I hope to never see Tony again.

Anyways, my trip to the North. Here we go...

Monday--we went to Chatsworth (Pemberly from Pride and Prejudice), the Bronte Parsonage at Haworth, and York.

...and it was raining.

When I think of the North trip, this is what comes to mind:
Tuesday, we visited York Minster (a cathedral! woohoo!) where an old woman got mad at me "for not being interested" in the Cathedral. This woman was not even apart of our tour group, so I don't see why she thought she had any business judging me on how interested I was in the Cathedral... even if my mind was wandering elsewhere... I swear, because I'm the tallest of my friends, I stick out the most... and therefore I'm always the target when it comes to angry people looking for a victim... but that's nothing new. Stuff like this happens to me everywhere in the UK, and especially in the London Centre. Fortunately, I have become very good friends with the two girls here who always think that I am funny--and they keep me sane. Which is really a good thing, because these days, no one seems to be very stable anymore.
there she is.
After the Cathedral, we walked around York and got lunch at our beloved Subway, and then hopped back on the bus and headed to Fountains Abbey. It was raining and there were MILLIONS of little gnats everywhere---and if there is one thing I hate other than garden eels, its bugs of all kinds. Humidity + rain + gnats = not a good combo. I took a half hour walk around the abbey and then found sanctuary in the gift shop and the cafe with Emma and Caitlin.

We then went to Durham Castle which was actually very cool to stay in. It was just like Hogwarts. We went to Evensong at the neighboring Cathedral and then had dinner at Nando's. After a shop at the local Tesco, Caitlin, Britin, and I headed back to my room to watch P.S. I love you in preparation for our trip to Ireland.

at the Tesco, we found our most favorite cereal in the UK--Crunchy Nut Nutty. This stuff is the best.

Wednesday was Hadrian's Wall, and it was snowing. Emma and I stayed behind at the cafe while the rest of the group hiked up the path to the wall---where a majority of the people slipped and came back dripping wet. Emma and I remained nice and toasty. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.
We also went to Dove Cottage and Grasmere--William Wordsworth's properties and then arrived at a hostel in Hawkshead where we had our English class and where I was bit by a large spider in my sleep. I never want to stay in a hostel again in my life.

this would be a shot of my very disgusting and painful spider bite. Isn't it lovely?
^Dove Cottage^
Thursday we woke up and walked up to Hilltop Farm--Beatrix Potter's farm. I liked this part--I had a great view of the Lake District and it was all really pretty. And I found a new love for lambs... so so cute.

After the farm, we drove to Preston and had a tour of the city by our church history guide, Peter. After, we finished off our visit by taking a trip to the Preston temple. I may hate Cathedrals... but I will always, always love temples.

We then went to Liverpool where I had dinner at GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen--one of my favs) and then we came back to the hotel and watched A Walk to Remember. It was fun, I love movie nights.

Friday, we woke up and explored Liverpool and I felt like I was in the Across the Universe movie the entire time. Unfortunately, I did not see Jim Sturgess. I did however, see the a Titanic exhibit, the Slave Trade museum, and the Beatles Gift Shop. Lunch was at Wagamama's and before we knew it we were off on a taxi and then on a plane over to Dublin.

Fortunately, my week was salvaged by my weekend in Ireland. But that's another set of stories for another post. As for now, my pillow is desperately calling my name.

P.S. Happy Easter